The Chairman of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, Henry Powell, has urged employers in the region to get involved with local schools to inspire young people about the career opportunities available to them after education.

Powell, who is also a local employer as the director of Inpress Plastics in Littlehampton, has been speaking to schoolchildren about the careers available locally and how focussing on their studies will help them to succeed in business.

“Skills are a real issue for business,” Powell told an assembly of students at Littlehampton Academy. “So, there is an incredible opportunity for you guys today. I can put it very simply in economic terms – if you develop the skills that employers need, then you will get jobs and employers will value you.”

“If you work hard in school and get good grades, we will pay you well for it. They don’t all have to be outstanding, but you’ve got to try hard and put the effort in.”

Powell explained that the rise of automation means that the future for unskilled workers is increasingly bleaker, and those that don’t obtain good grades will find it harder than ever to find gainful employment.

Powell continued: “It goes both ways. School children need to get the grades, but employers need to engage with them, make the time to get involved with schools, take on more apprentices and, ideally, become STEM ambassadors.

“At Inpress Plastics we’ve had fantastic results employing apprentices. We get the brightest students and they get a degree without the burden of debt. It’s a no brainer.”

If employers in the region would like to find out more about how to get involved, they can get in touch with the partnership via